Skin Cancer: Coming to a Face Near You
There are over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year in the United States, representing about half of all cancers diagnosed in the country. And skin cancer on a dramatic increase. There are twice as many skin cancers in our population today as there were 20 years ago. Given this rate of increase, chances are about 50/50 that you will develop at least one skin cancer lesion if you live to age 70. This is especially true if you are fair-skinned. While skin cancer can occur in people of all races, those with lighter skin have a much higher risk because their skin contains less of the pigment melanin, which helps protect against an overdose of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, which can lead to skin cancer over time. The effect is apparently cumulative. A body of evidence also suggests that this also applies if you decide to go the “fake bake” route of the tanning salons.
Thankfully, most skin cancers, about 95 percent, are not life threatening. Skin cancer falls into two broad areas: basal-cell cancer / sqamous-cell cancer, and melanoma. The two most common of these cancers are the basal-cell and sqamous-cell carcinomas. These typically are easily treated, usually with surgery, and rarely lead to death. If neglected, however, over time, these can eventually lead to disfigurement and/or can spread with dire consequences. Only about 5 percent of all skin cancers are malignant melanomas, but these are far more dangerous and account for almost all deaths due to skin cancer. This aggressive form of cancer needs to be addressed immediately. Like most cancers, the risk of malignant melanomas will increase with age. If you feel you have developed any type of skin cancer be sure to see a dermatologist at once.
Most skin cancers, as one might imagine, occur on the face, neck and hands as these are the areas that receive the most exposure to the sun due to the fact that most of us wear clothes. These are also the areas that are most exposed to the view of others. As the usual AMA’s (American Medical Association) approach to skin cancer is knife and needle, this can leave unsightly scars just where you might not want any.
But there are alternatives. Having had a number of non-melanoma skin cancers, I’ve had the opportunity to try both the AMA (have the scars to prove it) as well as several “alternative” approaches. The method of treatment that I’ve settled on is the herb Chaparral. Chaparral is a plant that grows in the deserts of the southwestern U.S. and has been used historically by the indigenous populations of the region for a number of ailments. Today, it can be found in powder form at most health food stores. A small bag is all one needs and only cost a few bucks.
I make a paste by mixing the powder with wheat germ oil (also found at your local health food store) and apply it directly to the lesion. Then I cover it with a Band-Aid. I do this once in the morning (after my shower) and again in the evening for six or seven days- carefully removing the old paste with a Q-tip. The advantages I have found are as follows: No pain. Perhaps a slight tingling at first. As chaparral only targets the cancerous cells, without affecting the surrounding normal tissue, my skin can quickly begin to repair itself naturally after the cancer is gone leaving usually just a “new skin” pink spot for several months. And all this at a fraction of the cost of a surgical procedure.
If this all seems a bit strange to you, please understand that this is nothing new. There are a number of books that have been written that offer other non-evasive, less painful methods of treating basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers as well. I would recommend the book, The Skin Cancer Answer: The Natural Treatment for Basal and Sqamos-Cell Carcinomas and Keratoses. This book is priced right, easy to read and provides you with what many might feel is a better method of treatment. But check around- and see what work best for you, knowing that many others have taken the non-AMA approach. In any event, use a dermatologist to diagnose what type of skin condition you might have, discuss it with him, but know that there may be cost effective, alternatives to the knife and needle.